Drug Information

Betimol

What is BETIMOL?

(BETIMOL) This medication is used to treat high pressure inside the eye due to glaucoma (open angle-type) or other eye diseases (such as ocular hypertension). Lowering high pressure inside the eye helps to prevent blindness. This medication works by decreasing the amount of fluid within the eye. Timolol belongs to a class of drugs known as beta-blockers.

How should I use BETIMOL?

Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start using timolol and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Use this medication in the affected eye(s) as directed by your doctor, usually once in the morning or twice daily. To apply eye drops, wash your hands first. To avoid contamination, do not touch the dropper tip or let it touch your eye or any other surface. If you are wearing contact lenses, remove them before using eye drops. Wait at least 15 minutes before replacing your contact lenses. Tilt your head back, look upward, and pull down the lower eyelid to make a pouch. Hold the dropper directly over your eye and place one drop into the pouch. Look downward, gently close your eyes, and place one finger at the corner of your eye (near the nose). Apply gentle pressure for 1 to 2 minutes before opening your eyes. This will prevent the medication from draining out. Try not to blink or rub your eye. If directed to use this medication in both eyes, repeat these steps for your other eye. Do not rinse the dropper. Replace the dropper cap after each use. If you are using another kind of eye medication (such as drops or ointments), wait at least 10 minutes before applying other medications. Use eye drops before eye ointments to allow the eye drops to enter the eye. Wait several minutes for your vision to clear before driving or operating machinery. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time(s) each day. Keep using this medication even if you feel well. Most people with glaucoma or high pressure in the eyes do not feel sick.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take BETIMOL?

Before using timolol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as preservatives like benzalkonium chloride), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: lung disease (such as current or past history of asthma, severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), certain types of irregular heartbeats (such as sinus bradycardia, second or third degree AV block), certain types of heart disease (such as severe heart failure, cardiogenic shock), kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, low blood flow to the brain (cerebrovascular insufficiency), overactive thyroid disease, muscle weakness disorders, severe allergies. If you develop an eye infection or injury, or have eye surgery, check with your doctor about whether you should continue to use your current bottle of timolol. You may be advised to start using a new bottle. Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). This product may prevent the fast/pounding heartbeat you would usually feel when your blood sugar level falls too low (hypoglycemia). The risk is higher if you have diabetes, or are vomiting, fasting, or not eating regularly. Other symptoms of low blood sugar level, such as dizziness and sweating, are not affected by this drug. If you have diabetes, this product may make it harder to control your blood sugar levels. Check your blood sugar levels regularly as directed by your doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst/urination. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet. After you apply this drug, your vision may become temporarily blurred. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires clear vision until you can do it safely. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. This drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

What may interact with BETIMOL?

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. Some products that may interact with this drug include: oral beta-blockers (such as propranolol), clonidine, certain antidepressants (including SSRIs such as fluoxetine), digoxin, epinephrine, methyldopa, quinidine.

What if I miss a dose of BETIMOL?

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Use your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.

What side effects may I notice from receiving BETIMOL?

Temporary blurred vision, temporary burning/stinging/itching/redness of the eye, watery eyes, dry eyes, feeling as if something is in the eye, or headache may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: dizziness, eye pain/swelling/discharge, slow/irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, mental/mood changes, coldness/numbness/pain in the hands or feet, vision changes, unusual tiredness/weakness. Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: dizziness that doesn't stop, trouble breathing, sudden unexplained weight gain, chest pain, weakness on one side of the body, trouble speaking, confusion, fainting. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Where should I keep BETIMOL?

Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Avoid freezing. Keep all medications away from children and pets. This product is normally a colorless to light yellow solution. Discard the solution if it changes color, becomes cloudy, or develops particles. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

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